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Your New CRM, Day 1: Step 2

Step 1: Customize Your CRM

Your New CRM: Day One is a new segment on JobNimbus that exists to help you get started on your brand new CRM, regardless of which one it is.

In the first installment of Your New CRM, Day One, we discussed how to export, clean, and prepare your existing data and contact lists for your new CRM.

Once you have your data prepared, you’re ready to customize your CRM in preparation for importing that data.

It’s not time to import the data just yet, because you want to make sure that your data’s going in the right place first.

CRM customization comes in the form of custom fields, custom types, and custom statuses that you’ll be using to classify your contacts and keep things organized.

CRM software have differing levels of customizations that they afford you.

Some allow you to add just a few custom fields, while others (like JobNimbus) let you customize just about everything so that you can, allowing you to use your same process and classifications that you already use without skipping a beat.

Here’s what you need to do to customize your CRM

Setting up your custom fields

Custom fields allow you to track specific data points that don’t come standard with the CRM. Generally, these will be fields specific to your line of work, or something that you need to track on your contacts or jobs.

You can create custom fields to track numbers, decimals, text, dates, and more, and the possibilities are endless.

But stop there and let me give you a word of warning: Too many custom fields can be and is a bad thing.

So, as you choose fields that you want to add, be very judicious and make sure to consider that with every new field you’re adding, you’re also adding friction to the sales and production process, causing your CRM to be more difficult (if only in perception), and possibly compromising your data completeness.

Each CRM has its own setup process for custom fields, but if you’re getting set up with JobNimbus, you can find our step-by-step guide to custom fields here.

Setting up your Contact Types and Statuses

A good CRM gives you tools to categorize and segment your contacts and your projects so you can easily run reports and know exactly what’s going on with your sales and project pipelines.

Custom types for contacts might include Customer, Supplier, Partner, Insurance, and more, depending on your industry and preferences.

Hopefully the CRM you choose will offer you the option of customizing types and statuses and, even better, allowing you to translate your existing process right into the software without having to change anything (unless, of course, you want to).

This kind of personalization is available through JobNimbus, and there are other CRMs that give equal customization options.

Now, again, with both types and statuses be wise about how many you’re using. Since these are generally selected from either a drop-down list or a drag-and-drop system, you won’t be adding as much friction as with custom fields, but you still create more things for users to remember and follow through on.

More steps means more chances to mess up.

So, don’t mess up by trying to put too many steps in there.

Again, each CRM is going to have its own steps for creating types, and even for assigning those types to your contacts and jobs. Here are the steps for setting up Contact Types and Statuses in JobNimbus.

What about other customizations?

CRMs offer a whole bunch of customizations. Those can include:

  • Design and/or branding
  • Automation processes
  • Feature sets
  • Templates
  • And other types (Job/Project Types & Statuses, Note Types, Attachment Types, etc)

As you’re getting started with your CRM, these things can get in the way of what’s most important: getting clean data in your system to start with.

In fact, we’ll call these customizations: personalizations. They’re not mission-critical, so let’s leave them off to the side for now.


When getting your CRM ready for your existing data, be sure to use wisdom and prudence in your customizations.

Customization is powerful but, as is the old adage, with great power comes great responsibility.

But when you’ve built a solid process, you can make your CRM feel just like home.

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